I too am not fond of pasta al dente. It reminds me of something very rubbery and at the same time, doughy. I like a softer pasta like my Mom made. I cook my pasta a few minutes over the recommended time, although when I cooked bowties last night 4 minutes over the recommended time, they still were quite rubbery. I have noticed that Barilla Pastas are consistently al dente. I find the lowly store brands work best for me.